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|The Golden Road||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
A Will, A Way And A Woman
|Page 2 of 5||
"It was very wrong of her to deceive her parents," said Felicity primly.
The Story Girl couldn't deny this, so she evaded the ethical side of the question skilfully.
"I am not telling you what Ursula Townley ought to have done," she said loftily. "I am only telling you what she DID do. If you don't want to hear it you needn't listen, of course. There wouldn't be many stories to tell if nobody ever did anything she shouldn't do.
"Well, when Kenneth came, the meeting was just what might have been expected between two lovers who had taken their last kiss three months before. So it was a good half-hour before Ursula said,
"'Oh, Kenneth, I cannot stay long--I shall be missed. You said in your letter that you had something important to talk of. What is it?'
"'My news is this, Ursula. Next Saturday morning my vessel, The Fair Lady, with her captain on board, sails at dawn from Charlottetown harbour, bound for Buenos Ayres. At this season this means a safe and sure return--next May.'
"'Kenneth!' cried Ursula. She turned pale and burst into tears. 'How can you think of leaving me? Oh, you are cruel!'
"'Why, no, sweetheart,' laughed Kenneth. 'The captain of The Fair Lady will take his bride with him. We'll spend our honeymoon on the high seas, Ursula, and the cold Canadian winter under southern palms.'
"'You want me to run away with you, Kenneth?' exclaimed Ursula.
"'Indeed, dear girl, there's nothing else to do!'
"'Oh, I cannot!' she protested. 'My father would--'
"'We'll not consult him--until afterward. Come, Ursula, you know there's no other way. We've always known it must come to this. YOUR father will never forgive me for MY father. You won't fail me now. Think of the long parting if you send me away alone on such a voyage. Pluck up your courage, and we'll let Townleys and MacNairs whistle their mouldy feuds down the wind while we sail southward in The Fair Lady. I have a plan.'
"'Let me hear it,' said Ursula, beginning to get back her breath.
"'There is to be a dance at The Springs Friday night. Are you invited, Ursula?'
"'Good. I am not--but I shall be there--in the fir grove behind the house, with two horses. When the dancing is at its height you'll steal out to meet me. Then 'tis but a fifteen mile ride to Charlottetown, where a good minister, who is a friend of mine, will be ready to marry us. By the time the dancers have tired their heels you and I will be on our vessel, able to snap our fingers at fate.'
"'And what if I do not meet you in the fir grove?' said Ursula, a little impertinently.
"'If you do not, I'll sail for South America the next morning, and many a long year will pass ere Kenneth MacNair comes home again.'
"Perhaps Kenneth didn't mean that, but Ursula thought he did, and it decided her. She agreed to run away with him. Yes, of course that was wrong, too, Felicity. She ought to have said, 'No, I shall be married respectably from home, and have a wedding and a silk dress and bridesmaids and lots of presents.' But she didn't. She wasn't as prudent as Felicity King would have been."
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|The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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